Sasthrabodhini programme is the first programme of its kind to promote talented youngsters in science and technology from socially and economically disadvantaged communities.

More than 250 budding scientists from 27 Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes Model Residential Schools (MRS) across the State have come together in the city for a four-day science fair.

The fair, part of the Sasthrabodhini project, an initiative of the Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment (KSCSTE) and funded by the government’s Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes Development Department, was inaugurated by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy at the Science and Technology Museum here on Thursday.

Developing scientific temperament among talented children from the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes community was of utmost importance and the government was making efforts to improve facilities for this at model residential schools across the State, Mr. Chandy said, adding that he would visit the Kalpetta MRS on July 16 to inspect the facilities.

The participants of the fair, he said, would get a chance to interact with similar minds from across the State and gain experience that would rarely be available from classrooms.

Sasthrabodhini programme is the first programme of its kind to promote talented youngsters in science and technology from socially and economically disadvantaged communities. The objective was to make sure that children from underprivileged backgrounds did not miss out on the opportunity of becoming scientists, research and development experts and innovators. Plans were afoot for a new scheme to improve professional competencies of Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes teachers and scientists, V.N. Rajasekharan Pillai, Ex-officio Principal Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, and KSCSTE executive vice-president, said.

Interactive sessions with scientists and academics will be held on the third day. Student delegates will also be taken on a tour of the Space Museum at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre. A quiz will be held on the final day of the fair.